Often when talking about advertising, a challenge presented is how to reach the next generation of consumers. How do you reach Generation Z? How can we change our techniques to appeal to these new consumers? But maybe it’s not so much as changing, as it is adapting to a new market.


The 90’s brought to bear a whole host of brands that are still going strong today. Versace, Nike, Air Jordan, The North Face, Timberlands, and Gucci to name a few. These brands catered to specific niches and found popularity in group cultures.  

Gucci and Versace created a brand out of being fashion forward and high tier clothing. You know you’ve made it if you’re wearing Gucci and Versace. The extravagance of the brands also lended itself to Hip/Hop culture as a sign of wealth.

Nike and Air Jordan gained popularity by being “the shoe” for athletes. If you play any sport, be it basketball, football, soccer, tennis, baseball, softball, etc., Nike has a top-of-the-line shoe for you. Air Jordan got even more specific. You can buy cleats for baseball and football through Air Jordan, but everyone recognizes Air Jordan for their basketball shoes. With Michael Jordan as the spokesperson, purchasing a pair of Jordans give basketball players a chance to “be like Mike.”

The North Face and Timberlands sold themselves as quality products to be used in tough environments. The North Face gear was designed to be worn to the top of Mount Everest, but people could enjoy them just as much and look just as cool walking down a snowy mainstreet in Anytown, USA. Timberlands were for hardworking people who were out in the elements, but has gained notoriety in rap culture. Emerson Knife Company designs knives for special forces and law enforcement, but the knives are carried by nurses, office staff, and just average, everyday people. This is something I can even lay claim to. Vans are very popular shoes for skateboarders and other extreme sports athletes, however, I have owned several pair and haven’t even touched a skateboard.

So why would kids (and people in general) buy clothing or products that don’t necessarily fit their lifestyle? They want to fit in. If kids feel at home with other the kids that wear Vans and World Industry T-shirts, they want Vans and World Industry T-shirts. If they like watching sports and Lebron James is wearing his new shoes, then kids want those new shoes. If they’re on the basketball team and their friends on the team have Jordans, they want to go to the mall and get a new pair of Jordans. It’s not about functionality as much as it’s about fitting into a culture that they feel at home in. 


This is no different than reaching today’s kids. Nike still dominates professional and college sports. No matter who your favorite athlete is, they probably are wearing some Nike gear. Rappers are still rapping about owning Gucci clothing and walking around in a brand-new pair of Timberlands.


What has changed is the channels through which these kids can get advertiser’s messages. Where advertisers in the 90’s focused on elaborate and action packed (often cheesy) storylines for commercials that aired on television, advertisers now focus on shorter eye catching ads that could air between Youtube videos or Instagram posts. Modern ads are now more about the product in question helping you achieve your goals while possibly featuring celebrities who are relevant to that pursuit.

Social media has exploded, giving advertisers plenty of opportunities to reach out to consumers in new and creative ways. Celebrities, musicians, and athletes have larger platforms now which allows more exposure for the companies they represent. To reach the new generation, you have to take advantage of these new platforms, and meet them where they are.

That’s where we can help. We can make sure your message reaches the appropriate audience on the social media that they are engaged with. We can find creative ways to present your company that will appeal to your desired audience. Little Red Writing can put you where you need to be.